The MSc in Biology is a specialised yet flexible programme that ranges from molecular and cellular biology to functional and evolutionary biology and on to population and community ecology. It emphasises problem-solving, independent thinking and communication. You'll be trained in the theory and techniques of fundamental and applied research in one of two areas of specialisation: ecological and evolutionary biology or molecular and physiological biology. The programme offers the fruits of the department's internationally renowned research, which is embedded in established collaboration with other universities, research institutes and biotech companies worldwide. Our alumni pursue careers as researchers in academic, commercial or non-profit organisations, as scientific advisers and policy officers in government or private administrations, as science communication officers and journalists, or as science teachers. Where do your interests lie?
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The objective of this programme is to train students as biologists capable of working in a research environment in fundamental biological sciences at an international level.
Knowledge and insight A 'Master of Biology': - possesses a general knowledge and insight in biological phenomena, as well as a more profound understanding of a specialized area of Biology; - has a well-funded insight in living matter, as well as in the relationship between living and non-living matter; - has a wide fundamental knowledge in Biology and related sciences which he can integrate to efficiently and independently acquire new insights and practical skills.
Applying knowledge and insight A 'Master of Biology': - can integrate his/her knowledge of biological processes at different levels of organisation and with other areas of study; - is capable of independently processing and implementing information from the international scientific literature and can employ this information to detect problems within the scientific context; - can produce a relevant answer to a scientific question or produce a problem-solving strategy for scientific experiments and observations; - can efficiently assimilate information and evaluate it in a scientifically correct manner with the necessary criticism; - has the expertise to plan within the context of a research team an original research project, to autonomously and accurately execute this study and to analyse and interpret the data; - is capable of performing and implementing a risk analysis for the experiments to be conducted, regarding the possible implications for biological safety and for the environment; - has acquired the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary to function in his/her scientific community and is capable of performing scientific research according to the required (academic) standards.
Communication A 'Master of Biology': - has good communicative skills in English; - can summarize and critically interpret his own findings at different levels and communicate towards various target groups; - can clearly report on scientific research regarding his/her field of specialty, and on more general biological information, both orally and in written form before a specialised public; - can collaborate in international team and contribute to a constructive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust in a professional context; - is capable of performing a responsible role within a group and can show responsibility for its final result.
Generation of judgement A 'Master of Biology': - possesses the attitude and has developed problem-solving capabilities that are sufficient to function as a scientifically professional and ethically responsible biologist; - is aware of the legal, social and ethical context, as well as of the safety aspects associated with scientific research and acts accordingly; - has acquired a sociological sense of responsibility and an ethical and critical attitude. This enables him/her to autonomously make a critical analysis and to defend a well-founded point-of-view regarding problems in our society that have a link with biology.
Learning skills A 'Master of Biology': - can co-operate with international fellow-students and researchers, including those from other (sub)disciplines, and has acquired the necessary attitudes, as well as the sense of responsibility, to participate in the team, in a professional context; - possesses a sufficiently critical attitude allowing him/her to autonomously obtain knowledge, perform research activities and work on scientific problems, with a sense of originality and creativity; - has acquired the necessary practical skills to stay informed of recent international developments in his/her field of expertise, as well as Biology and Science in general, and understands that it is therefore necessary to permanently update his/her knowledge and know-how.
[[Career paths]] As a graduate of the programme, you will be equipped with the knowledge to pursue a research career at a university, an agro-industrial, pharmaceutical or biotech company, an environmental conservation organisation or an NGO. Graduates also qualify for positions as scientific advisers at banks or private investment firms, as policy officers in governmental or public administration, as science communication specialists, scientific journalists, or as science teachers.
Recipient: KU Leuven
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